February 07, 2017

Europe has a large and diverse agri & food sector. However, because of our rapidly changing world and increasing competition, the sector is under pressure. There is a need for smarter, sustainable and innovative production methods to keep the European agri & food sector competitive.


Apply before March 31 2017!


KATANA is a European accelerator financed by the European Commission. The aim of this accelerator is to boost innovation in Europe’s agri & food sector. KATANA is looking for SMEs, individual entrepreneurs and start-ups to participate in this exciting accelerator. First step to join us: present your idea in a video pitch. The deadline is March 31.

Whats in it for you?

  • 2000 Euros for the 100 best applications (peer-to-peer evaluation) in the first phase.
  • Grow your network in Europe; meet experts and peers.
  • Improve your product / service and business model.
  • Business training & crowdfunding: present your idea on the KATANA crowdfunding platform after weeks of teambuilding, e-learnings and an onsite boot camp.
  • Reward: the 10 teams that receive the strongest support via crowdfunding will be funded with additional 100.000 euros per team. In addition, the 10 teams will receive professional support from Europe’s best accelerators to get their idea market-ready.

For whom?

SMEs, startups and single entrepreneurs in the agri & food value chains (farmers, food producers, retailers, nutritionists etc.), ICT and emerging industries (e.g. eco sustainability, mobile markets, and functional foods).


  • Make a 2-minute video pitch (smartphone recordings are allowed) and upload it to YouTube. Include the YouTube link in the application form.
  • You DON’T have to write a proposal. 

In your 2-minute video-pitch in English you explain:

  • Your previous experience and current activities: show us who you are.
  • Your understanding of the dynamics across the value chain: show us what you know.
  • Your vision for your product or service: keep your idea a secret for intellectual property reasons. Tell us what the impact of your idea could be on society, environment, economy etc.

Need help or more information? Have a look first at the FAQ. If you can't find the answer to your question then contact us via m.ramaekers@effost.org or telephone: +31 (0)6 1160 2591. 

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Q: How can I benefit from teambuilding?

A: Participants may benefit from teambuilding process in multiple ways.
Benefits include:

  • Exchange of knowhow
  • New impulses for product and service development
  • Recruiting of capabilities that the existing team lacks (e.g. developers)
  • Teaming up with usual/potential target groups in order to get insights on customer needs (e.g. developers with farmers)

BYOB – Bring your own buddies
On top of that, it is possible to bring already established partners to KATANA as only 1 team member needs to be a KATANA beneficiary



Q1: What if I have a product or service idea that does not seem to fit for a crowdfunding process?

A: Launching a reward crowdfunding campaign is not that simple – which is why beneficiaries will be prepared thoroughly for the campaigns by KATANA partners and dedicated experts. Main workshops at the KATANA Bootcamp will focus on:

  • How to set the right incentives for a specific product or service (possible incentives might include pens, T-Shirts, discounts, licences, company visits, etc.)
  • How to address potential donors
  • How to tailor communication efforts to potential donors needs
  • How to design an attractive campaign in the three focus fields of KATANA


Q2: How shall I attract potential donors to the crowdfunding platform?

A: The whole KATANA consortium will support the teams in the communication of the crowdfunding platforms, e.g. in the social media or via events. Also, it is important to know that:

  • Specific promotion techniques will be taught at the Bootcamp (see above)
  • Beneficiaries will prepare their campaigns in close cooperation with KATANA partners
  • No maximum for funds will be set
  • A minimum of funds can be set by beneficiaries
  • The best teams will be selected always in relation to their direct competitors from the same KATANA focus field i.e. PA Services, Mobile Services, Functional Foods
  • There will be no threshold meaning that even a team that received the amount of 15€ can be awarded if this amount is the highest in the group.


IPR and Publication of ideas

Q: Do I have to share my ideas and make them public?

A: Participants are not requested nor expected to disclose their ideas in the pitch videos. However:

  • It is normal that any start-up, entrepreneur or company needs to disclose their ideas or plans as soon as they request funding. This goes also for the Matchmaking events.
  • In the project teams that are formed during the Matchmaking process, will be free to set up internal contracts regarding IPR
  • Here, KATANA team can support


Existing products and services

Q: What about my already existing products and services?

A: KATANA allows already established companies and start-ups to develop new products and services, but also to:

  • Refine already existing products
  • Develop the existing product portfolio further
  • Develop new distribution channels for products – e.g. by the development of an online shop
  • Adjust products for other markets and/or target groups


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